“Matt Powell brings forth intricate details and quick-witted responses that reward an intelligent audience’s attention.”

The Plus Ones (Melbourne)

“intoxicating stage presence… a genuine star with a quicksilver brain”

Uther Dean

All of history is just stories we tell each other to understand the world, and every story is at least in part about the person doing the telling. Performed by the award-winning Matt Powell (Awkward Threesome, Soap Factory) and inspired by the imperfect recollections of performer and audience alike.

Matt Powell is a Wellington-based improvisor, director, and writer with over 20 years’ experience creating and performing shows. He has been part of The Court Jesters (Christchurch), PlayShop, WIT, and Soap Factory. He has been performing in the New Zealand Fringe Festival since 2014. The History Boy is his first full-length solo show, born from a development at Late Night Knife Fight (winner: September 2019).



16–20 March 2021, 7:30pm
Te Auaha Tapere Iti, Dixon St
Nominated: Outstanding Solo Performance

Further reading

This is a collection of things we’ve learned about in shows or rehearsals: I’ll update this as soon as I can after each show so that you can find out more when you go home. Click on a name to find out more.

Note: I’ve used “BCE” (“Before Common Era”) and “CE” (“Common Era”) for dates rather than “BC” and “AD”. The Wikipedia article on Anno Domini explains why, but basically: you shouldn’t have to believe in Jesus to agree on the date.

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Created & performed by
Matt Powell
Directed by
Jennifer O’Sullivan
Produced by
Kickin’ Rad
Sebastian Morgan-Lynch
Flinn Gendall
Matt Powell
Jason Aldous
NZSL Interpretation
Shoshanna Cleary

Special thanks to

The Usborne Book of World History by Anne Millard is referenced with the deepest affection.

The History Boy was first performed as part of Late Night Knife Fight in September 2019.